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5 Tips for Running a Business With Your Spouse

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Have you ever thought about running a business with your spouse or does the thought of it make you want to run screaming?

Interestingly enough, there are many couples who run successful businesses together, and I’ve contemplated opening a business with my husband too – although we work separately now.

Still, when I look to friends and colleagues who work with their spouses, I’ve noticed there are a few things that really set apart the successful couples from the rest.

Here are some examples of how to start running a business with your spouse without going crazy.

1. Leave Arguments at Home

We all argue with our spouses. No marriage is perfect, and when you run a business, emotions can run high. Still, the most successful couples who run businesses together know how to separate work life from their family life. They know how to leave fights over the dishes and kids at home and focus on work when they get to work.

2. Extensive Communication

Communication is important in any relationship, and a working relationship is no different. By communicating, you and your spouse can agree on the most important tasks for the day. You each know what the business requires, what your customers need, and what your employees deserve. By working together and making sure you’re on the same page, you present a united from to anyone who comes to you for business.

3. Defined Roles

It’s not helpful if both you and your spouse send out paychecks, call vendors, and manage your business’ social media accounts. Each one of you needs defined roles in the business. Someone should be in charge of the finances (although you both should be aware of them.) Someone should be involved in marketing, and someone should be the primary person that employees can approach with any problems.

4. Joint Goals

When things get tough, refer back to your joint goals. Running a business isn’t easy, and when both you and your spouse are involved, that means your livelihood is hanging in the balance of the business you share.

Instead of letting this fill you with stress and anxiety, instead let it fill you with excitement and passion for the work you do. Be a support for each other, so when one of you gets stressed or worried, the other can remind you why you started.

5. Respect

Above anything, having respect for one another is the most important part of running a business together. You obviously love one another, otherwise you wouldn’t be married. But make sure that respect permeates throughout your working life too.

It can be easy to get stressed and snap at one another, but if you remind yourself to respect and love one another at work, you will be incredibly successful.

Ultimately, it’s entirely possible to run a business with your spouse. The key is to separate work and family issues as much as possible. Do this all while maintaining the love and respect that drew you to your spouse to begin with. Have defined roles in the business and communicating extensively, you can help keep your business – and your marriage – afloat.

Do you run a business with your spouse? What are some of the ways that you stay successful and keep your marriage in harmony?

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Catherine Collins Alford is a nationally recognized author of the book Mom’s Got Money, an award-winning freelance writer, and the co-founder of

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